Greetings! I'm writing to announce the Madrona Labs five-day winter sale, starting now. From now until December 10, I am selling Aalto for $49, which is 50% off the usual price. Now is a great time to get everyone’s favorite patchable software synth for yourself or a friend. Visit the Aalto page to buy.
If you would like to give someone an Aalto license as a gift, it’s easy.
Just buy the software in the usual way, but enter your friend's first and last name instead of yours when you make the Madrona Labs account. Then you can gift your friend the account name and password. Your friend can log in, download the software and change the account email to his or her very own.
I'll be posting again this month with sound previews and finally, with the release of our next software synthesizer, Kaivo. If you haven't heard about Kaivo, please check out the short preview video below. I'm very excited to get this new instrument into your hands... and so I'm going to get back to work on it now. More soon!
Soundplane application v.1.0a1 is now available at the usual spot in the hardware forums.
This is a preview release, meant to give you a chance to use the new zone mapping features before version 1.0 is feature complete. You can edit zone maps using the JSON files directly, but not through the GUI.
NOTE: the t3d format has changed slightly for better compatibility with TouchOSC and other apps going forward. So this version will not work with the current version of Aalto. If you are currently on a big US tour or something, don't install it! An Aalto update for compatibility will be coming soon.
There are currently four types of Zones available: note rows, x sliders, y sliders, and xy sliders. All of these are shown in the zoneExample1.JSON map. More control types and many refinements are on the way, to be documented and rolled into version 1.0. So if you have ideas for controls you want, now is the prefect time to give feedback. The new Max/MSP example shows how to receive
I am calling this release 1.0a1 because it has a 1.0 feature set that is not complete. However, in my experience it is at least as stable as the previous version. If you don't need Aalto compatibility it should provide a solid platform for your MIDI or OSC-based work. Please send me any bug reports or feature requests by posting to the Hardware forum, or by email.
Here’s a video preview of Kaivo. Not all of the functions are final, but it’s getting very near its finished shape, and as you can hear, makes some very nice sounds!
Kaivo is designed to do physical modeling, which is to say it solves physics equations in real time. But unlike other physical modeling plugins so far, Kaivo is geared towards quick and easy experimentation that can get wild. Sounds rooted in physical reality, but headed for outer space. As with Aalto, my #1 goal is to help you get sounds that were difficult or impossible to make with your computer before. To surprise and delight seekers of the new and weird.
Kaivo will be released later this fall, and it will be reasonably priced. Stay tuned!
This year at Decibel Festival I'll be teaming up with my friend James Patrick of Dubspot and Ableton to talk a little about modular synthesis software, and give a sneak preview of Kaivo, my new physical modeling synthesizer. I’ve been working on Kaivo for almost two years now. Kaivo brings Aalto’s ease of patching to a new set of modules based around physical modeling. I'm excited to show off its interface and a few of the new sonic possibilities it offers.
I’m also very excited to be part of a panel with other instrument makers from Monome and Livid Instruments. The panel is called "New Media Hardware Platforms and Communities." We’ll discuss what the current landscape of hardware from independent makers looks like, what it’s like to be one of these independent makers, and what unique possibilities this activity of locally sourced, community-focused hardware design offers culturally and musically. And what lies ahead? Please come share your thoughts.
Brian and Kelli of Monome will also be on hand to reveal Aleph, the new music hardware that they have made in collaboration with Ezra Buchla. I know a lot of people are anticipating this one!
My session with James Patrick will be Friday at noon at Broadway Performance Hall. The Monome presentation and new hardware panel will be Thursday afternoon. Times of some of the conference programs are still shifting, so please check the Decibel Conference Program for more info and breaking news.
I just posted the 1.4.1 update to the Mac version of Aalto. This fixes the Logic validation problem some people were seeing on Mac OS 10.8.
The Windows version is unchanged for now.
Mac users, please note that using the Aalto installer on OS X 10.8 requires that you control-click to open the installer to get past Gatekeeper’s code signing. Now that I have a computer running 10.8, I can address this and some other details that come up with the new operating system and Retina displays very soon.
There is still some issue with the user presets in the installer, but I can not wrestle with Apple’s PackageMaker any more today. Installing the user presets from the demo version should work for now until I have time to tidy things up more.
I'm happy to announce that the Aalto 1.4 update for Mac and Windows is live here on the site! This new version offers compatibility improvements, as well as over 100 new presets, improved integration with the Soundplane, and several features requested by users like you.
I have fixed the compatibility issue with Live 9.0.5 I wrote about previously.
[EDIT] update: 1.4 is crashing Logic’s AU validation for some users. If this happens to you, please send any crash reports to support @ madronalabs.com . I’ll keep you posted.
Several users and I have been running Aalto on Ableton Live 9.0.5 since its release. One person reports a repeatable problem that forces Live to quit with its "serious error" dialog. So if you are working with Aalto and a previous Live version, I recommend that you do not update to 9.0.5 right now. Stay tuned for news of an Aalto update.
The new Logic Pro X seems to be hosting Aalto well without any problems.
That’s the Live and Logic compatibility update.
I'm going to try something a little different this Summer and put Aalto on sale for two weeks. From now until July 30, 2013, everyone’s favorite patchable, semi-modular software synthesizer is 50% off.
Whether you have the demo, the Aalto CM version, or no Aalto in your life at all, this sale is a chance to get the polyphony, full email support and future updates that come with a full license, all for half off. Visit http://www.madronalabs.com/products/aalto for happy clicking and saving.
In other news, Summer’s in full swing and I hope you’re having a great one. I'm spending most of my time working on the next big thing from the Labs, a new software instrument. Most details will be under wraps for a little while longer yet, but I’m aiming for a release sometime this summer, so you curious synthesists will not have long to wait. What I am saying is, it’s a new take on physical modeling with an Aalto-like user interface. It will be the first product to use a certain kind of physical modeling, so far as I am aware. Green is its color. More details to follow.
Frankly, at this point Aalto’s reputation is a lot to live up to! I'm working hard to make a second software instrument that will play off Aalto’s strengths, provide a whole new world of sounds, and keep the quality bar very high. I can’t wait to get this out there and hear what you think.
Other things I am making and plan to announce soon will be another run of T-shirts, and another run of Soundplanes. Watch this space!
Just in time for summer, Aalto T-shirts are now in stock! Oft-requested and long-awaited, these shirts are the first physical artifacts besides the Soundplane to come out of the Labs. They start out soft, will wear in gracefully and are likely to give you super patching powers.
We asked our good friend David Chandler to tidy up his Aalto manual cover for a larger reproduction size, and printed it in a subtle aqua gradient on American Apparel’s Sustainable Edition organic cotton shirts in Galaxy Blue. Nerdy yet surfy!
We are selling these nice shirts for $20. Shipping is by US First Class Mail, for $4 within the USA and $16 internationally. PayPal will add these costs automatically when you enter your shipping adress.
[EDIT] Sorry, sold out! I may do another run via preorder later this Summer.
Before these instruments left the shop I snagged a few photos, to show the variations in wood that give each instrument a unique personality. When I put a surface together with the enclosure I try to find pairs of grains that somehow speak to each other. It’s a happy task each time because it means that the Soundplane is almost done.
Waves with planets: